Women Reach the Top at more Family Firms

Women Reach the Top at more Family Firms

by Edward Taylor
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

This article is reprinted by permission from StartupJournal.com.

As chief executive of Swedish forklift truck manufacturer Atlet AB, Marianne Nilson is one of a growing number of women who hold key positions in their family firms.

“The dynastic model of succession, where the business is passed on to the eldest son, seems to be fading,” says Jozef Lievens, a partner at Belgian law firm Ebilius Lawyers, and founder of the Belgian Family Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides training and education for family businesses. “We see a growing tendency for daughters to take over the firm — or even entire teams of siblings.”

A 1997 survey of 3,000 family firms conducted by Mass Mutual in the U.S. showed that the number of female chief executives was set to rise, with 25% of respondents saying their next CEO would be a woman. A similar trend is evident in Europe, Mr. Lievens says. More…

Layoff Wounds Persist for Family Businesses

Layoff Wounds Persist for Family Businesses

by Shirley Leung
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

This article is reprinted by permission from StartupJournal.com.

Raymond Covarrubias first sensed tough times coming in August 2000, when his business, which makes blueprints for construction projects, slacked off 30% from the year before.

There had to be layoffs at the family business. During solitary walks, Mr. Covarrubias considered several of his 12 employees, but he kept returning to his younger brother, who had been at the firm for 30 years. Bobby, the office manager, oversaw everything from billing to blueprinting. But with no wife, no kids and no mortgage to pay, Bobby could manage without a paycheck. More…